Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Almost a Month Doing it Alone

In a week it will be one full month of being alone with my kids--of 100% sole parenting. It is starting to get easier. But I'm not there yet.

I'm learning my limitations. I'm learning how far I can (and cannot) push myself. I'm still struggling to figure out how to squeeze in exercise, but the kids and work part are getting more solid.

And I'm healing.

Recently, I questioned myself. I felt sadness for what I had lost. But then I read some things I wrote when things were the worst and I remembered. And I re-experienced the trauma. I literally traumatized myself.

And now I am back and continuing to reflect.

I have this memory today. A few really stand out and this is one. I will try to describe it in poetry.

You are angry.
Just like every day.
I live in fear of you.
The little girl tries to appease you.
She follows you hoping to cheer you up.
Because you say to me, "I can't deal with you, but she is fine."
Because you tell her, "I'll feel better if you are with me."
Because you emphasize to her that she is not me.
And because you imply that her+resting and listening to audiobooks will solve all your problems.

But it won't.
You are mad today.
Like every Sunday.
Angry with me for "making you" go to marriage counseling later in the day.
As every Sunday.
Listening to Nirvana loudly.
The whole house is on edge.
We all feel the heaviness in the air.
Tiptoeing and cringing and worried that every little thing will make it worse.

I ask you to please turn down the music.
The effect of the heaviness plus the music is too much.
It hurts.
It feels subversive.
But why would you subvert against me?
Aren't we partners? Friends? Teammates?
Instead you have made me an enemy.

You made me the mother of an angry teenager blasting the music of your teenage-hood.
Instead of turning it down,
You go outside and listen to it.
She follows you and watches you headbang and rage.
Maybe it's a coping mechanism.
But it feels like yet another way to hurt me.

I can't express my feelings.
I am hurt and confused and full of pain.
I no longer know what I can do.
And it's because there is nothing left that I can do.
I've tried everything.
And you are still mean.
You are still angry.
You still are trying to punish me for something in your head that you can't articulate.

It is bright and sunny, but dark in my heart.
I am not your punching bag.
A person you are supposed to love is not a person to hurt over and over.
We should not be enemies.
You can have your problems
That we can work on together.
But I am not the outlet for your anger.

I don't remember when I last felt loved by you.
But it was at least a decade ago.
And I was willing to stand by you no matter what, no matter the sacrifice and loss of self it brought.
And you still don't want to figure it out together.
You still wanted me to be your enemy.
The one who makes things worse.
The one who ruins your life.

You contradict yourself.
I ended it and then you ask me to come back.
Why? You haven't given to me in years.
You have taken and taken and taken.
I stayed and stayed and tried everything to appease you and salve the wound.
But nothing I did was the right thing.
I'm not sorry that I couldn't do it anymore.
You can't treat me or anyone else this way.
Maybe when we were young and stupid.
But we should know better now.

You still hurt me and abuse me even now.
You do what you want, leaving me to pick up all the pieces.
Falling back on me like a child on his mother.
And I remember your rage.
And I am overjoyed that the darkness and heaviness you brought is gone.
We can finally see the light.
We can finally feel light.
We are better off.